Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Match, books, Gig.

03/06/15

I’m not going to write crappy match reports on this page anymore because anyone with an interest in cricket will know what has happened.  But I’m still going to talk about cricket.  England lost the second test to a very good Kiwi team.  1-1 is a fair result for this series between two well matched teams.  Whereas at Lords England fought back from poor positions to win, at Headingly we did the opposite.

England had good starts in every one of the four innings.  NZ were 2-2 but reached 350.  We had an opening stand of 177 but slumped to the same score.  The kiwis were 23-2 second time around but once again we let them off the hook.  Then 47-1 was pretty good in our second innings but we were bowled out.

The scorecard doesn’t lie.  England’s bowlers went around the park and our spinner was just not in the game.  Moeen Ali is a good cricketer but right now his bowling just isn’t up to scratch.  He needs to go back to his county for a season or two and work on learning his craft, just like Swanny did.  He might come back as a very good spinner.  Until then England must either give Rashid a chance or look to the county game and pick the inform spinner.

England got next to no runs from numbers 3, 4 & 5 in this match.  No problem with Root, he’ll come good but Ballance and Bell need to find form quickly or at least one of them must go.  Two batsmen waiting in the wings are Alex Hales and James Taylor.

In years gone by a draw with New Zealand would have been seen as a poor result but they are a very good team at the moment.  They play imaginative, attacking and entertaining cricket with a great attitude and none of the snarling nastiness that some teams, including England, have been guilty of. Going into an Ashes series a win against NZ would have been a big confidence boost but maybe the positive in defeat will be a changed team selection.


NZ vs Aus would be a really good series right now and from here it’s hard to pick a winner.  Aus are playing West Indies at the moment and this will be a good gauge as to how the rest of the summer may pan out.  At the moment I can’t see the XI that played against New Zealand beating the Aussies, it will be interesting to see if the selectors see it the same way.


More McEwan…

Circumstances and coincidences saw two more Ian McEwan books come to the top of my reading pile.  This author usually deals with human emotions but you never know where he’s going to take you and a happy ending isn’t guaranteed.  He keeps us readers on our toes!

The Children Act is about a Judge called Fiona Maye struggling through a difficult time personally whilst seemingly carrying on to her usual high professional standard.  The scenes are vivid, the characters likeable, the story very readable but the outcome not entirely unexpected.  A very good read but not one of his best.

Enduring Love starts in tragedy and threatens to finish in the same way.  In between the story meanders but picks up momentum and the reader is not entirely sure of the truth.  As usual it is easy to picture the places and people that McEwan brings to life.  This is a very good book but not as absorbing as Ian McEwan at his very best.

A Gig.

“F*cked up” won’t be to everybody’s taste.  I’d describe them as somewhere between Punk and Metal, loud and shouty with big guitars it sometimes get a little psychedelic. I’m not a huge fan but Giles is and it had been too long since I’d seen any live music so I decided to keep him company.  The evening began with a drive down to Camden and a club called Koko’s. 

We got in with a little time to spare.  F*cked up hit the stage and the room was soon up and jumping, even we two forty somethings were nodding our heads and bouncing a bit.  It was a short set but a good one with a few tunes that were familiar even to me.  I’m sure this is not just age talking but it was bloody loud and it didn’t do too much for the sound as the guitars seemed a bit swamped.  Still a bloody good set and a very enjoyable hour.

There was another band on but we decided as it was a week night to hit the road and get home at a reasonable hour.  As usual the car journeys fly by in conversation and laughter and it’s a shame when the night comes to an end.  I’d forgotten how much I love live music!

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